Jon’s Country Classic Spotlight – Billy Swan ‘I Can Help’
I have been hosting the WKDQ Country Classic show for over 13 years and it never ceases to amaze me how many of you ask questions about particular songs and artists. If you have been listening to the show for any length of time at all, you know how much I love and appreciate Classic Country. Each week, I am going to put one song in spotlight and tell the story behind the song – this week it’s Billy Swan’s “I Can Help”. Swan is a singer/ songwriter from Cape Girardeau, Mo. – Swan charted a total of 16 songs on the country chart between 1974 and 1987.
His biggest hit was his debut single, ‘I Can Help’, which first hit the charts in October of 1974. The song made a rapid climb on the charts and became Swan’s only number one hit – spending two weeks in the top spot and was also his only gold record.
One of the questions I often get about this song is why is there applause at the end of the song because it was not recorded live. The story is very simple and very funny.
During the recording session of the song, there was a dog in the studio. I am told it was Swan’s dog and he wanted the dog to stay in the studio. The problem was, every time they tried to record it, the dog would bark or yelp or create some distraction. Finally, after many takes and several hours in the studio, they finally got all the way through the song with the the dog being completely quiet. Everyone was thrilled to get the song done, they could not contain their excitement and burst into applause at the end of the song. Here the song in its entirety below.